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  • Writer's pictureDan Russoman

Mauriello shot lifts Devils to win

Owen Mauriello scores two of his eight points in Hammonton’s win at Buena last week. (THG/Dan Russoman.To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)

HAMMONTON—Owen Mauriello’s 3-pointer with less than five seconds remaining in the game lifted Hammonton High School’s boys basketball team to a 56-55 win against Bridgeton last weekend, the Blue Devils third-straight victory.

Down two points late in the fourth quarter, Hammonton moved the ball quickly up the court as Mauriello set a baseline screen before sprinting to the left side where he caught a pass and lofted a 3-pointer that rattled off the rim and the backboard before dropping through the net, giving Hammonton its first lead of the game with seven seconds left on the clock.

Bridgeton inbounded the ball and took a timeout with 4.4 seconds remaining, but the Bulldogs were unable to score, giving Hammonton the win.

Mauriello, who entered the game averaging just 3.7 points per game this season, sank three 3-pointers against Bridgeton, including the game-winner. He finished with 12 points.

Bridgeton led throughout the matchup, outscoring Hammonton 20-11 in the first quarter and leading by 11, 33-22, at the half.

Hammonton closed the gap with an 18-12 third-quarter run, and continued to rally in the fourth quarter, setting up Mauriello’s late 3-pointer.

John Andaloro led the Blue Devils with 16 points, and Tyler Lowe and Erik Pabon each added six.

The win was the third-straight for Hammonton, which has played well since dropping its season-opener against Cape Atlantic League West Division leader, St. Joseph Academy.

The Blue Devils began last week’s action with a 53-45 win against Millville. Andaloro and Jaron Hill helped spark a 15-0 run to start the game for Hammonton, which led 19-3 at the end of the first quarter. Millville continued to struggle against Hammonton’s strong defensive effort before closing the game with 22 fourth quarter points.

“I thought we did a great job defensively against Millville. They have some athletes and we were able to force some turnovers and create a few transition points,” Hammonton coach Joe Martino said.

Andaloro finished with 19 points and Hill added 10 for the Blue Devils.

Later in the week, Hammonton played at Buena and rallied for a 52-39 win at Buena.

The host Chiefs hit five 3-pointers while building a 23-19 halftime lead, but the Blue Devils fought back in the third quarter behind a pair of 3-pointers from Gavin West.

Hammonton tied the game early in the fourth quarter and eventually closed the game with an 18-2 run sparked by West’s third 3-pointer of the half and seven points from Mauriello.

Lowe added eight points in the fourth quarter as Hammonton pulled away.

West finished with a game-high 17 points.

“That was a tough game for us,” Hammonton coach Joe Martino said.

“Buena was hitting shots early and we were missing, they had us on the ropes a little. But I thought in the second half, we did a better job defensively with some pressure and forced some turnovers that helped us,” Martino said.

Earlier this week, Hammonton played at Vineland, but that game ended too late for this edition. The Blue Devils host St. Augustine Prep on February 13 at noon.


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